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BPW Boulder Announces 2015 Celebration of Award Recipients

Michele Guarino  | Published on Monday, March 30, 2015
 A printed copy of this Press Release can be downloaded here: BPW Boulder 2015 COW Press Release.
Media Contacts

Michele Guarino, Past President
Leigh Flanagin, Committee Chair
Business and Professional Women of Boulder


Business and Professional Women of Boulder Present
2015 Celebration of Women Event on April 17th

Vendor Table Sponsorships and Tickets Are Now Available



Thursday, April 17, 2015 - 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Elks Lodge, 525 Main Street, Louisville, CO


BOULDER, Colo. (March 25 2015)— The 2015 Celebration of Women Event gives Business and Professional Women of Boulder (BPW Boulder) the honor of recognizing the women and men who support and inspire others to promote BPW Boulder’s mission of "building powerful women: politically, professionally and personally."  The honorees encapsulate the level of participation, equity and economic self-sufficiency for working women BPW strives to attain.  The 2015 Celebration of Women Event is open to the public.  Exhibitor Space, Sponsorships and Tickets Are Now Available at  The event features networking, vendor tables, dinner, cash bar, and keynote speeches from 2015 recipients:


  • Lifetime Achievement:  Ruth Wright
  • Woman of the Year:  Cynda Arsenault
  • Man of the Year:  Brad Feld
  • Organization of the Year: Mother House
  • Member of the Year:  Michele Guarino
  • New Member of the Year:  Joann Evans

The recipient of Lifetime Achievement is Ruth Wright.  Ruth Wright followed a different track than other professional women.  Early on she decided that studying law would lead to making a difference in whatever field she would eventually choose.  So, in 1956, she enrolled at the University of Wisconsin Law School, one of only two women in the freshman class with only 12 women in over 500 students in the law school.  After traveling overseas and meeting her husband, they moved to Wisconsin, where Ruth began her law studies.  She completed her law studies in Colorado and was admitted to the Bar in 1972.


Ruth's expertise in local issues led to her election to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1980, where she represented Boulder until 1994.  She was the House Minority Leader from 1986-1992, only the second woman to hold that leadership role, and the only woman to serve for three terms.  Her legislative work garnered awards from the Colorado Wildlife Federation, the League of Women Voters of Boulder Valley and of Colorado, the Colorado Health Association, and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.


She moved from a housewife, mother, citizen activist, law student and volunteer, to a water resources attorney, active Board member (often the only woman on the board), outdoors / wildlife / environmental advocate, Commissioner, State of Colorado Representative (1981-1994) and House Minority Leader.  She is still active on several board and working with her husband Ken Wright, in the study and understanding of Machu Picchu.  A published author, she has written a best-selling book entitled, "The Machu Picchu Guidebook, a Self-Guided Tour."


The recipient of Woman of the Year is Cynda Arsenault.  Cynda is the co-founder, Chairman of the Board, and President of Secure World Foundation and has 40 years of experience in non-profit work including peace and justice, prisons, mental health, disability rights and environmental issues. In additional to co-founding Secure World Foundation, she also co-founded the Arsenault Family Foundation.


Collins Arsenault has been active in grass roots organizing and community building with a commitment to build a secure and sustainable future for the children of the world. She has also been involved in promoting opportunities for people with developmental disabilities and has authored two books on the subject. She is a member of the Colorado Women's Forum and Trustee of the Association for Community Living. As a philanthropist concentrating on the empowerment and voice of women, she is part of the Women's Donor Network and Women Moving Millions. Her philanthropy is based on a global and long-term lens.


Collins Arsenault received her B.A. in Sociology and Psychology at University of California Berkeley and earned her Master's Degree in Education from Colorado State University.

The recipient of Man of the Year is Brad Feld.  Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures.  Brad is also a co-founder of TechStars.


In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, co-chair of Startup Colorado, and on the Board of UP Global.  Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes the widely read blogs Feld Thoughts, Startup Revolution, and Ask the VC.


Brad holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brad is also an avid art collector and long-distance runner. He has completed 23 marathons as part of his mission to finish a marathon in each of the 50 states.


The recipient of Organization of the Year is Mother House.  The award will be accepted by its Executive Director, Coreen Schmidt.  Mother House provides a safe haven for pregnant women who are at risk. They are committed to protecting their unborn children, providing a nurturing and loving home, and encouraging them to build the confidence and the skills necessary for a successful future.


Since 1982, Mother House has been much more than a shelter. It is a program designed to help its residents develop skills to become good parents (if they decide to parent), as well as become successful and responsible members of society. It is for women who choose life for their unborn child, whether they decide to parent or relinquish their baby. Mother House is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

The recipient of Member of the Year is Michele Guarino for her inspiration to other members of BPW Boulder with her dedication to the organization through her leadership. She is currently the Past President, VP of Marketing, and VP of Technology of BPW Boulder.   She is also the Vice President, Strategy Team Leader, and Communications Co-Chair for our state organization, BPW Colorado.  


Michele founded A Second Office LLC in 2003.  Her company is a full-service business management and executive support team providing top-notch virtual assistant support services to busy entrepreneurs and executives.  She supports professional business women by subcontracting their services.

The recipient of New Member of the Year is Joann Evans who volunteered to be on BPW Boulder’s Board of Directors.  In her short time with the chapter she has brought tremendous energy, dedication, knowledge and heart to BPW Boulder.  Joann serves as the Legislative Chair for BPW Colorado and is the VP of Programs and Recording Secretary for BPW Boulder.  Joann is currently CEO of EM Colorado, LLC.  She is a consultant to the medical community, holds a B.S. in microbiology and chemistry, and is a certified Paralegal.

For the last 20 years Joann has worked in areas such as medical device manufacturing, biotechnology, invitro diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, IT and blood banking. A complement to this experience, she has worked in immunology setting up assays, microbiology labs, manufacturing, quality engineering, quality control, regulatory and management. Joann has also worked with attorneys in the legal profession specializing in corporations, legal research and writing. She now specializes in quality systems design and development for federal regulation and ISO compliance.

Joann Evans loves to write. Her pen name is J. Hughes. She recently completed a book, soon to be published, dealing with organizational culture. She plans to continue her writing focus in areas of management and quality assurance. However, Joann loves to tell a story and has published a novel called “Brad’s Omen” and also has finalized two other books awaiting publication with one related to dreams that literally come true. She has a number of other projects in the wings.


The 2015 Celebration of Women Event is open to the public.  Early bird pricing before April 12th for Members is $35 and Non Members is $40 and includes a full buffet dinner.  There will also be networking, a guest speaker, live music, a cash bar, and vendor tables.  The price will increase to $40 for Members and $45 for Non Members after April 12th at 12 midnight.  Music during the evening is provided by BPW Boulder Member, Laurie Dameron.



BPW Boulder is the Boulder local organization of BPW Colorado (  Its mission is to promote full participation, equity, and economic self-sufficiency for working women.  BPW Colorado has been a leader in passing much of the landmark civil and women's rights legislation of the 20th century.  BPW Boulder was established in 1923.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit .



tags:   working women, Business and Professional Women, BPW, economic self sufficiency, pay equity, full participation, Celebration of Women